Where do NBA player fines go? How league and NBPA distribute money

The NBA and NBPA use player fine money for the greater good

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

There are a bunch of different – and expensive – ways in which an NBA player can pick up a fine.

Since the start of the 2023-24 season, the NBA has issued 844 player fines for $7,867,890. Reasons for those fines include technical fouls, ejections, criticism of the officials, obscene gestures, flopping, suspensions, off-court violations and chucking the ball into the stands.

That money doesn’t stay in the NBA’s pockets, though. Instead, the league and the National Basketball Players Association direct that money to the greater good. 

“Player fine money is split between us, the Players Association Foundation, and the NBA, which they also support their charitable causes with,” Lyzz Ogunwo, NBPA VP of International Development and Global Impact, told NBC.

Half of the money goes to the NBPA Foundation and the other half goes to the league. Both the NBPA Foundation and NBA then distribute that money to philanthropic efforts.

Players have a role in the fine distribution, as well. Those with at least three years of NBA experience can request matching grants that also go to the charities.

“The bulk of how we end up distributing that funding is through player matching grants,” Ogunwo said. “Any player that has had at least three seasons in the league, if they are supporting a non-profit, they are then able to reach out and request a matching grant up to $25,000 each fiscal year.”

In 2023, the NBPA Foundation distributed about $2.5 million to charitable causes through 141 grants.

The NBPA Foundation supports roughly 450 players, though Ogunwo isn’t sure how many of them know where financial forfeitures go.

“Hopefully most of them do know,” Ogunwo said. “If any of them are listening out there, this is where your player fine money is going towards – philanthropic causes across the world.”

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